Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Saturday June 1, 2017 Fly Fishing Report for Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado

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Summer rains and changes in dam release can affect your fishing plans. You can check on current flows before you go by clicking on New Mexico Stream Flows or Colorado Stream Flows here or from our links page.

San Juan River 
Flow: 523 cfs below Navajo Dam
Fishing: Good
Visibility: Good, Clear
Water Temp: Cold, 42-45 degrees
Hatches: Midges in Quality Water, PMD's below Quality Water 
Patterns: Bling Midge, Jujube Midge, Johnny Flash, Pure Fire Midge, Ext. Body PMD's
The Peak Spring Release is winding down. Fishing here can be very good especially after a summer rain. The first good rain will bring out an ant fall and the fish go nuts. Currently it's a midges game. Long line nymphing with a standard attractor and midge larvae set up. Fish pupa patterns higher up in the column around 10 or 11 am. Even thought the baetis hatches are small and not bringing a lot of fish to the surface, they seem to key in on baetis patterns after lunch until the evening when midges become the favorite trout food again. Black and olive midge larvae and pupa are the top producers near the dam especially in the mornings. Move down river after lunch to get the baetis hatch. Chocolate and gray have been the best baetis colors. Johnny flash and foam wing emergers are among the favorites. The Special Trout Water section is all catch and release and has a two fly only rule. If you see someone in violation, turn them into Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263. Officers have been checking people for licenses, barbless flies, and the number of flies on your rig! File those barbs or go barbless, as the fines are steep!

Pecos River   
Flows: 13 cfs on the Rio Mora, 59 cfs on the Pecos below Terrero 
Fishing: Good 
Visibility: Good, Clear
Water Temp: Cool, Mid-Fifties
Hatches: Caddis
Patterns: Feast Beast Caddis, Neversink Caddis, Para Hoppers, 
Stoneflies are pretty much done the length of the river. Caddis flies are out in good number with the heaviest concentrations in the late afternoon til dusk. PMD's are also gaining in numbers and are working mid-day. Round that out with a hopper and you can fish dries all day. Keep the droppers on the small end; no bigger than a #16. in the faster currents. Please respect the landowners and stay out of any private property along the river. The fishing season on Pecos National Historical Park opened June 15th. Please see the Park's website for more information.

Rio Grande
Flows: 374 cfs at Cerro, 608 cfs at Pilar
Fishing: Slow for trout, Slow for pike, Fair for smallmouth bass
Visibility: Fair, Less than 2 feet
Water Temp: Cool, High Fifties for now
Hatches: Sporadic Insignificant Midge and Baetis
Patterns: Crane Bombs, Warden's Worries, Searchers, Gongas, Butt Monkeys 
The Rio has come down in flow a lot over the past week. It may be from heavier diversion in Colorado now that it got hot, but even flows well above the reservoirs are dropping fast. There may be a small window here for decent trout fishing. If the water clears up a bit and the temps are cool enough for happy trout in the next couple of weeks. Please do not target trout here if the water temps are in the mid-sixties. It could be lethal for them. Go for the smallies instead. They will be in the slowest part of the river looking for crawdads on the bottom. Crawdad patterns and woolly buggers dragged through those spots keep you away from the trout. Pike fishing is slow. Your best bet for them is a large streamers that move water. Choose your places wisely . There is lots of rafting traffic around Pilar.

Jemez Mountain Streams  
Flows: 12 cfs below Jemez Pueblo
Fishing:  Good, early and late in the day, Fair mid-day
Visibility: Good, Clear
Water Temps: High Fifties to Low Sixties
Hatches: Caddis, PMD's, 
Patterns: Fat Caddis, Stalcup's Hopper, 
River levels are declining as a whole in the Jemez Mountains. It's typical, but a little early this year. Get it while it's good. The declining flows and warmer temps will slow the fishing down as we move into summer. The upper reaches of the San Antonio and Cebolla continue to fish well. Try a dry dropper rig just as an easy presentation in the lower flows and clear water. The stonefly hatches on the lower Jemez and Guadalupe are done.  The Gilman tunnels are closed. The access to the Guadalupe is on Forest Road 376 from the north.

Chama River 
Flows: 181 cfs above Chama; 150 cfs above El Vado; 392 cfs below El Vado Reservoir, 647 cfs below Abiquiu Dam
Fishing: Good, above El Vado all the way to Colorado, Fair below the Dams
Visibility: Good, transparent-2 feet plus above El Vado; Fair,less than a foot below El Vado.
Water Temps: Cold, Upper Forties on Natural River, Upper Forties on on Tailwaters 
Hatches: Caddis, PMD's
Patterns: Neversink Caddis, Feast Beast Caddis, Ext Body PMD, Hippy Stompers, 
The upper Chama in the Sargent WMA is still high and fast. Keep checking. The river flowing into El Vado is declining rapidly. Hit it now before this stretch warms up. Throwing streamers and deep nymphing should produce. The release below El Vado looks like it's on the usual summer routine. Roughly a release of 600 cfs starting Friday at noon and going back down to 200 cfs on Sunday at noon. I've upgraded the fishing there as the lower release makes the river wadable and clarity is getting better also. The river below Abiquiu is down for the moment. Silt is getting flushed out of Abiquiu and the clarity isn't good. Wait until autumn to fish here again. The Chama River above El Vado Reservoir, downstream of the stream gauge at Cooper's Ranch,  and below Abiquiu Dam are Special Trout Waters with reduced bag limits or catch and release only rules. Please report violators to New Mexico Game and Fish at 1-800-432-4263.

Cimarron River 
Flows: 27 cfs below Eagle Nest Dam
Fishing: Good
Visibility: Good, slightly milky below dam, clear downriver
Water Temps: Low Fifties
Hatches: PMD's, Golden Stones, Baetis, Caddis
Patterns: Bruised PMD's, Golden Tungstones, Bat Wing Emergers, HDA Favorites
The release out of Eagle Nest Dam is at adecent level but that may change if the irrigators  for water. Fortunately trib flow starting with Tolby Creek at the upper end of the state park adds to the flow. The Cimarron picks up even more water towards the eastern end of the state park. Scuds, red midge larvae, baetis nymphs, and golden stonefly nymphs have been reported to be working on the river. This place will provide somewhere to fish now that runoff seems to be affecting most of the other local waters.

In Southern Colorado:

Animas River  
Flows: 1110 cfs at Durango
Fishing: Fair
Water Temps:
The Animas is declining but still high for wading. Fishing with streamers and big nymphs like stoneflies with some flash will still get the trout's attention just take caution while wading. Caddis are out and you can get a few risers in the evening on dries. There is a lot of rafting traffic on the river especially close to Durango. No reports from other area waters.

The Conejos River
Flows: 428 cfs below Platoro Reservoir; 668 cfs at Mogote
Fishing: Good
Visibility: Good, Clear
Water Temps:
Hatches: Stoneflies, Brown Drakes, PMD's, Caddis 
Patterns: Twenty Bombs, Golden Tungstones, Pat's Rubberlegs, Drake Bombs, Brown Drakes
The Conejos is declining, although the release out of Platoro is literally all over the place. That makes the fishing the meadows kind of a crap shoot. At high flows, 150-400 cfs, it will fish well. At lower flows, expect the river just above the Pinnacles to fish well. The release for most angler, needs to be below 150 cfs to be able to wade the Pinnacles. The water is fairly clear, although the wading is much tougher on the lower river. Dredging the deeper runs with stone fly nymphs and San Juan worms seems to be the most successful tactic.The big bugs of summer, stoneflies, green drakes, and PMD's are flying around the length of the river. I haven't had any reports on the tribs although the flows should be down for them to fish well.

Rio Grande 
Flows: 1280 cfs at Wagon Wheel Gap
Fishing: Good
Visibility: Good
Water Temps:
Hard to tell what release is with the stream gauge being offline. It's probaly high enough to float but inquire locally. Stonelies should be off any day now followed by green drakes and PMD's.  

Pagosa Area
Flows: Piedra River 99 cfs at Arboles;  San Juan River 250 cfs at Pagosa Springs
Fishing: Good
Water Temps:
High water and from snowmelt is declining on these area waters like everywhere else. Most of the bigger waters are still high and impossible to wade, but the tribs may offer some place to fish. It won't be long before it will all fish well.

Arkansas River
Flows: 774 cfs at Granite; 1280 cfs at Salida
Water Temps:
The fishing is easiest upstream of the Twin Lakes outflow to Hayden Meadows. Downstream of Salida into Big Horn Sheep Canyon the river is murky anfd fishing is tough. The clearest water will be upstream of Chalk Creek to Hayden Meadows. Fish in the deeper runs mid-channel in the and cover the shallow riffles from mid-day on if you see active surface feeding. .

It's spring time in New Mexico and water and fishing conditions and water flows can change with the weather! Please CALL the fly shop for the latest in stream flows and water conditions.

For the most current stream flow data, see our links page or click here for New Mexico Stream Flows. or here for Colorado Steam Flows.

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Call us at the shop for conditions on waters not listed here. 888-988-7688 out of Santa Fe or 988-7688 in Santa Fe.

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